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Bill would change review process for health-insurance coverage denials

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MADISON (WSAU) Wisconsin would change the way it reviews rejections of patients’ health insurance claims, under a bill passed by the Assembly. Yesterday’s vote was 57-to-39 to give State Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel the authority to create a new process to replace the state’s long-running independent review system for insurers’ coverage denials.

Jim Guidry of the insurance commissioner’s office says the bill would make changes required under the federal health reform law – like dropping the state’s fee for patient appeals. But Bobby Peterson of the A-B-C-for-Health group in Madison says the current system works fine. And he called the bill a “power grab” by the Walker administration which would let the insurance commissioner make a number of long-term changes.

Guidry says the proposal would let his office respond more quickly to federal guidance.

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